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Impeach Bush--Index 62

The author was an associate deputy attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.

June 27, 2007

Reagan Lawyer: Impeach Cheney

Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concoct theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III. The most recent invention we know of is the vice president's insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution. The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify.

June 29, 2007

Deadliest Three Months In Iraq

Seven soldiers were wounded in the attack Thursday in the Rasheed district, a mixed Sunni-Shiite area of southern Baghdad where U.S.-led forces recently stepped up pressure on extremists. The commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad suggested the ambush could be part of an escalating backlash by Sunni insurgents.

Those deaths brought to 99 the number of U.S. troops killed this month, according to an Associated Press count. The toll for the past three months — 329 — made it the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. That surpasses the 316 soldiers killed during November 2004 to January 2005.

It's official, the people of Texas aren't well.

June 25, 2007

Texas Pedophiles Go Free

MURPHY, Texas —  A sting in which police teamed up with "Dateline NBC" to catch online pedophiles was supposed to send a flinty-eyed, Texas-style warning about this Dallas suburb: Don't mess with Murphy.

It is the first time in nine "Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator" stings across the country in the past year and a half that prosecutors did not pursue charges.

"Dateline" has made prime-time entertainment out of contacting would-be child molesters over the Internet, luring them to a meeting place, and videotaping their humiliating confrontations with reporter Chris Hansen.

The Constitution Receives Another Reprieve.

(Supreme Court flips)

In case you missed what happened, go to this link Army officer says Gitmo panels flawed

Here's a snip from the story and the sworn affidavit:
"SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An Army officer who played a key role in the "enemy combatant" hearings at Guantanamo Bay says tribunal members relied on vague and incomplete intelligence while being pressured to rule against detainees, often without any specific evidence.

His affidavit, submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and released Friday, is the first criticism by a member of the military panels that determine whether detainees will continue to be held.

Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a 26-year veteran of military intelligence who is an Army reserve officer and a California lawyer, said military prosecutors were provided with only "generic" material that didn't hold up to the most basic legal challenges.

Despite repeated requests, intelligence agencies arbitrarily refused to provide specific information that could have helped either side in the tribunals, according to Abraham, who said he served as a main liaison between the Combat Status Review Tribunals and the intelligence agencies."

June 25, 2007

Supreme Court flips, will hear detainee claims

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed course Friday and agreed to hear claims of Guantanamo detainees that they have a right to challenge their detections in American federal courts.

The decision, announced in a brief order released Friday, sets the stage for a legal fight that appears likely to shape debates in the Bush administration about how to close a detention center that has become a lightning rod for international criticism. More than 370 men are being held at the naval station on a scrubby corner of Cuba.

The unusual order, which required votes from five of the nine justices, rescinded an April order in which the justices declined to review a federal appeals court decision that ruled against the detainees.

The court offered no explanation for the change. But the order meant that the justices will hear the full appeal in their next term, perhaps by December. The court rarely grants such motions for reconsideration.Some experts on Supreme Court procedure said they knew of no similar reversal by the court in decades.

The only superpower that seems to be gaining ground is the EU.

June 25, 2007

Global Unease With Major World Powers

Anti-Americanism is extensive, as it has been for the past five years. At the same time, the image of China has slipped significantly among the publics of other major nations. Opinion about Russia is mixed, but confidence in its president, Vladimir Putin, has declined sharply. In fact, the Russian leader's negatives have soared to the point that they mirror the nearly worldwide lack of confidence in George W. Bush.

western_allies (8K)

Global distrust of American leadership is reflected in increasing disapproval of the cornerstones of U.S. foreign policy. Not only is there worldwide support for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but there also is considerable opposition to U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan. Western European publics are at best divided about keeping troops there. In nearly every predominantly Muslim country, overwhelming majorities want U.S. and NATO troops withdrawn from Afghanistan as soon as possible. In addition, global support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism ebbs ever lower. And the United States is the nation blamed most often for hurting the world's environment, at a time of rising global concern about environmental issues.

June 27, 2007

Battlefield breakdown: The full price of war in Iraq

Four years into the war, the costs in lives and money are dear.

The human toll: More than 3,500 Americans have died in Iraq; more than 25,000 have been wounded.

The financial cost: $500 billion in spending, at a rate now of more than $2 billion a week.

There is another price: More than two-thirds of active duty Army brigades are rated not ready for their mission because of manpower or equipment shortages, most of which can be directly attributed to Iraq. It is a readiness domino effect.

The numbers for the National Guard are even more alarming: Nearly 90 percent of Guard units not in Iraq are rated not ready for missions.

"Right now the United States does not have any depth of strategic reserve in our ground forces," military analyst Michelle Flournoy says. "Meaning we don't have ground forces ready and willing to deter a conflict or keep a small problem small."

An Impeachable Offense
June 25, 2007

How does a $2 million project end up costing the government $124 million? Just ask the Department of Homeland Security

Payments to the firm, one of the country's biggest government contractors, soared by millions of dollars a month, the Post says, reaching $30 million, or 15 times the contract's original value, by December 2004. At that point, DHS lawyers warned that the deal had gone "grossly beyond" estimates and advised the department to end the contract and allow other companies to bid for the work.

But it was more than a year before any competitive bidding took place. In the meantime, payments to Booz Allen more than doubled again, thanks to another no-bid deal, to $73 million. Finally, in spring 2006, DHS broke the work into five separate contracts, worth an additional $50 million, and solicited bids.

June 26, 2007

57 Republican lawmakers signed onto bills that would allow states to opt out of No Child Left Behind

The rift among Bush's advisers mirrors a GOP intraparty struggle that erupted in March when 57 Republican lawmakers -- including Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.), a former Bush housing secretary -- signed onto bills that would allow states to opt out of key No Child Left Behind mandates. The legislation, which the White House has criticized, draws on a proposal Bush himself made in early 2001 but quickly dropped.

Many Republicans contend that the administration's criticism of an idea it once proposed shows the White House has strayed too far from conservative principles. Conservatives, some of whom supported the law only out of fealty to Bush, feel freer to speak out against No Child Left Behind now that the president's popularity has sagged and many parents and educators have complained about what they call onerous federal mandates.

An Impeachable Offense
June 28, 2007

Costs Skyrocket As DHS Runs Up No-Bid Contracts

By December 2004, payments to Booz Allen had exceeded $30 million -- 15 times the contract's original value. When department lawyers examined the deal, they found it was "grossly beyond the scope" of the original contract, and they said the arrangement violated government procurement rules. The lawyers advised the department to immediately stop making payments through the contract and allow other companies to compete for the work.

But the competition did not take place for more than a year. During that time, the payments to Booz Allen more than doubled again under a second no-bid arrangement, to $73 million, according to internal documents, e-mail and interviews.

Not only did Saddam not have WMD, but our intelligence agencies said if he had them he wouldn't use them against us unless we attacked him. In other words, even if we assumed the worse case scenario, Saddam was never a threat to the US.

An Impeachable Offense
June 25, 2007

UN WMD Report: US and Britain hampered their work in Iraq

The report by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, did not name its targets but several of its conclusions appeared aimed at the United States and Britain, which invaded Iraq in March 2003.

"Despite some skepticism from many areas within the international community, in hindsight, it has now become clear that the U.N. inspection system in Iraq was indeed successful to a large degree, in fulfilling its disarmament and monitoring obligations," said the unit's 1,160-page summing-up report.

Another win for the good guys.

June 28, 2007

Libby Becomes Inmate No. 28301 - 016

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For years he was known as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and assistant to President Bush. On Wednesday, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby became federal inmate No. 28301-016.

Libby, who was convicted in March of lying and obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity, faces 2 1/2 years in prison.

The assignment of an inmate number by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons represents another step on the road to prison. Inmate numbers stay with prisoners even after their release.

When Bush and/or his cronies get up and talk about all the Iraqi military and police personnel we trained...they're lying.

An Impeachable Offense
June 27, 2007

House Report Faults Pentagon Accounting of Iraqi Forces

Despite the substantial number of Iraqi security forces and their increasing willingness to fight -- demonstrated by rising numbers of casualties -- their progress toward taking full responsibility for the nation's security remains mixed, according to a report on the investigation by the oversight panel of the House Armed Services Committee. U.S. commanders now predict that it will take years and tens of thousands more Iraqi soldiers and police to achieve that goal.

The Pentagon "cannot report in detail how many of the 346,500 Iraqi military and police personnel that the coalition trained are operational today," according to the 250-page report. Details of the document were provided to The Washington Post by congressional staff members.

It seem this right wing court isn't extremist enough for Scalia. Surely this court has failed to protect the constitution from the blatant crimes of the Bush White House so now they're giving corporations the right to free speech and denying basic rights to individuals, such as the right to petition their government.

June 28, 2007

Scalia Characterize Chief Justice as a Wimp and a Hypocrite

In the campaign finance case, he accused Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of "faux judicial modesty" for writing an opinion that in Justice Scalia's view effectively overturned the court's 2003 campaign finance decision "without saying so." The clear implication was that the chief justice lacked the courage or honesty to overturn the precedent openly as Justice Scalia himself would have done.

And Justice Scalia was scathing in his criticism of an opinion signed by Chief Justice Roberts that limited, but did not completely abolish, the right of taxpayers to go to court to challenge government expenditures that promote religion. Justice Scalia would have gone on to shut the courthouse door completely, not simply limiting but overturning the precedent that the new ruling invoked.

An Impeachable Offense
June 27, 2007

Imperial presidency declared null and void

In private, Bush administration sub-Cabinet officials who have been instrumental in formulating and sustaining the legal "war paradigm" acknowledge that their efforts to create a system for detainees separate from due process, criminal justice and law enforcement have failed. One of the key framers of the war paradigm (in which the president in his wartime capacity as commander in chief makes and enforces laws as he sees fit, overriding the constitutional system of checks and balances), who a year ago was arguing vehemently for pushing its boundaries, confesses that he has abandoned his belief in the whole doctrine, though he refuses to say so publicly. If he were to speak up, given his seminal role in formulating the policy and stature among the Federalist Society cadres that run it, his rejection would have a shattering impact, far more than political philosopher Francis Fukuyama's denunciation of the neoconservatism he formerly embraced. But this figure remains careful to disclose his disillusionment with his own handiwork only in off-the-record conversations. Yet another Bush legal official, even now at the commanding heights of power, admits that the administration's policies are largely discredited. In its defense, he says without a hint of irony or sarcasm, "Not everything we've done has been illegal." He adds, "Not everything has been ultra vires" -- a legal term referring to actions beyond the law.

June 6, 2007

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez: "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time."

The war in Iraq is lost. This fact is widely recognized by American military officers and has been recently expressed forcefully by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq during the first year of the attempted occupation. Winning is no longer an option. Our best hope, Sanchez says, is "to stave off defeat," and that requires more intelligence and leadership than Sanchez sees in the entirety of our national political leadership: "I am absolutely convinced that America has a crisis in leadership at this time."

More evidence that the war is lost arrived June 4 with headlines reporting that "U.S.-led soldiers control only about a third of Baghdad, the military said on Monday." After five years of war the U.S. controls one-third of one city and nothing else.

June 27, 2007

Key Republicans signaling skepticism on Iraq

Key Republican senators, signaling increasing GOP skepticism about President Bush's strategy in Iraq, have called for a reduction in U.S. forces and launched preemptive efforts to counter a much-awaited administration progress report due in September.

In an unannounced speech on the Senate floor Monday night, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the U.S. military escalation begun in the spring has "very limited" prospects for success. He called on Bush to begin reducing U.S. forces. "We don't owe the president our unquestioning agreement," Lugar said.

The harsh judgment from one of the Senate's most respected foreign-policy voices was a blow to White House efforts to boost flagging support for its war policy, and opened the door to defections by other Republicans who have supported the administration despite increasing private doubts.

After spending years telling us "terrorism" is the biggest threat facing the country, Bush still hasn't given government agencies directives on how to do their primary mission. The war on terror is a joke - there are people who hate us, but that's nothing new. What different is this WH convincing the country that can or should kill every person who they think doesn't like us (without a jury trial of course).

An Impeachable Offense
June 25, 2007

Report blasts U.S. for failures in fighting terrorism

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A just-released report slams the federal government for failing to coordinate the work of U.S. law enforcement agencies overseas to fight terrorism.

The Government Accountability Office found that in one country a lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency may have compromised several investigations intended to identify and disrupt potential terrorist activities.

The White House has long issued directives asking that U.S. law enforcement agencies assist foreign nations' anti-terrorism efforts.

But the report finds that embassy and law enforcement officials told the GAO "they had received little or no guidance" on how to accomplish that.

The issue of roles and responsibilities "remains unresolved and is still subject to ongoing debates within the administration," it said.

An Impeachable Offense
June 25, 2007

ACLU: Torture used systematically

"Moreover, more than 100,000 pages of government documents released in response to (an) American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act request reveal that a pervasive and systemic pattern of harsh interrogation techniques have been used by military personnel indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay," the ACLU said in a statement Monday.

"The documents include evidence that detainees have been beaten; forced into painful stress positions; threatened with death; sexually and religiously humiliated; stripped naked; hooded and blindfolded; exposed to extreme heat and cold; denied food and water; isolated for prolonged periods; subjected to mock drownings; and intimated by dogs," the group said.

June 26, 2007

50 High School Presidential scholars: Stop Torturing POWs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to "violations of the human rights" of terror suspects held by the United States.

The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.

"The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the student know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights," deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.

When the GOP held the majority they said a lot of things and did none of them. What the GOP says is irrelevant - they can't be trusted on any issue. What they do is more important than what they say since the two are not compatible.

June 26, 2007

Lugar Says Surge Isn't Working

A day after Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar declared that Bush's "surge" policy of adding troops was not working, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio sent Bush a letter "expressing his belief that our nation must begin to develop a comprehensive plan for our gradual military disengagement from Iraq," Voinovich's office announced.

Lugar is the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee and Voinovich is a member of that panel. The Ohioan made his move even as Democrats were hailing Lugar for publicly criticizing the Iraq war, saying Lugar had reignited what had seemed a stalled debate.

Threatening a government employee used to be considered a crime but when you can buy politicians (and they can all be bought) law is irrelevant. In fact, its far worse than this. The US Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations and unions have the right to "free speech" (campaign contributions). Our founding fathers gave rights to individuals, not collectives but the courts don't care what the Constitution says.

June 25, 2007

Media and Political Decline

According to two former F.C.C. officials, Mr. Murdoch's chief in-house lobbyist at the time, Preston Padden, confronted Mr. Hundt's chief of staff at a meeting at a coffee shop near the agency's headquarters. Mr. Hundt would not be able to "get a job as dog-catcher" if the F.C.C. took away a single News Corporation television license, Mr. Padden warned, they said.

Mr. Lott's book sold 12,000 copies, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks about 70 percent of all domestic retail and Internet sales. Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, received $24,506 from HarperCollins for his modest-selling book "Passion for Truth," according to financial disclosure forms. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, got $141,666 for her book "American Heroines," which has sold better. All sit on either the Commerce or Judiciary Committees that most closely oversee the media business.

June 26, 2007

Generals doubt Iraqis can hold Diyala gains

BAQUBAH, Iraq — The U.S. commander of a new offensive north of Baghdad, reclaiming insurgent territory day by day, said Sunday his Iraqi partners may be too weak to hold onto the gains.

The Iraqi military does not even have enough ammunition, said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek: "They're not quite up to the job yet."

His counterpart south of Baghdad seemed to agree, saying U.S. troops are too few to garrison the districts newly rid of insurgents. "It can't be coalition [U.S.] forces. We have what we have. There's got to be more Iraqi security forces," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch.

The media is first and foremost lazy. So if they want easy stories they have to give money to those who are in power. Dems are in power so they get the money. Did the media give to the GOP when they were pushing GOP lies about WMD and White water? Who cares. They were pushing GOP talking points instead of facts anyway. If the media had done its job we wouldn't be in Iraq and we wouldn't have $9 trillion of debt and THEY wouldn't have spent years chasing after phantom scandals during the Clinton years.

June 25, 2007

Journalists dole out cash to both parties

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.The donors include CNN's Guy Raz, now covering the Pentagon for NPR, who gave to Kerry the same month he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq; New Yorker war correspondent George Packer; a producer for Bill O'Reilly at Fox; MSNBC TV host Joe Scarborough; political writers at Vanity Fair; the editor of The Wall Street Journal's weekend section; local TV anchors in Washington, Minneapolis, Memphis and Wichita; the ethics columnist at The New York Times; and even MTV's former presidential campaign correspondent.

Another self-evident truth: Liberals didn't take us into a war that was based on lies and liberals didn't support that war shortly after the war started and the lies were exposed. However, conservatives and centrists supported the war before and after the knew it was all a lie (no WMD). This pro war, anti truth stance is now considered the "center" We're screwed.

The media refused to listen to the 156 members of Congress who opposed the war from day one. Instead they listened to only the majority - a majority that was 100% wrong.

Secondly, we have to deal with another reality. We have almost $9 trillion of debt. We didn't get that debt because we were overtaxed but instead because we were undertaxed. Every tax cut proposed by either party was based on verifiable lies. Lies the media failed to expose.

June 22, 2007

'The Left' Moves Front and Center

Whenever you use the word "left" in American politics, you feel almost compelled to add quotation marks. Today's left is not talking about nationalizing industry, abolishing capitalism or destroying the rich. What passes for "left" in American politics is quite moderate by historical standards

Still, cliches die hard, so you hear such 20-year-old questions as: "Are Democrats moving too far to the left?" or "Will Democrats abandon the center?"

This approach is about abstractions, not concrete political problems, and it misses the dynamic in American public life, which is the move away from the right and a discrediting of the conservative era. The political "center" of today is not where the "center" was even five years ago.